|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Taras Bulba and Other Tales by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol:
taken place; and besides, no one ever could make out why he took a
cork and stuck it into a pie. They began to break-up at three in the
morning. The coachmen were obliged to take several of them in their
arms like bundles; and Tchertokoutski himself, despite his
aristocratic pride, bowed so low to the company, that he took home two
thistles in his moustache.
The coachman who drove him home found every one asleep. He routed out,
after some trouble, the valet, who, after having ushered his master
through the hall, handed him over to a maid-servant. Tchertokoutski
followed her as well as he could to the best room, and stretched
himself beside his pretty young wife, who was sleeping in a night-gown
Taras Bulba and Other Tales
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Memories and Portraits by Robert Louis Stevenson:
and the shell box that he had made for his son, and of which he
would say pathetically: "HE WAS REAL PLEASED WI' IT AT FIRST, BUT
I THINK HE'S GOT A KIND O' TIRED O' IT NOW" - the son being then a
man of about forty. But I will let all these pass. "'Tis more
significant: he's dead." The earth, that he had digged so much in
his life, was dug out by another for himself; and the flowers that
he had tended drew their life still from him, but in a new and
nearer way. A bird flew about the open grave, as if it too wished
to honour the obsequies of one who had so often quoted Scripture in
favour of its kind. "Are not two sparrows sold for one farthing,
and yet not one of them falleth to the ground."
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Eve and David by Honore de Balzac:
scheme perfectly well.
"What is your own idea?" Jean Cointet put in briskly.
"Three thousand francs for six months," said she.
"Why, my dear young lady, you were proposing to sell the place
outright for twenty thousand francs," said Boniface with much suavity.
"The interest on twenty thousand francs is only twelve hundred francs
per annum at six per cent."
For a moment Eve was thrown into confusion; she saw the need for
discretion in matters of business.
"You wish to use our presses and our name as well," she said; "and, as
I have already shown you, I can still do a little business. And then
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from The Jolly Corner by Henry James:
leave their sockets. Ah this time at last they WERE, the two, the
opposed projections of him, in presence; and this time, as much as
one would, the question of danger loomed. With it rose, as not
before, the question of courage - for what he knew the blank face
of the door to say to him was "Show us how much you have!" It
stared, it glared back at him with that challenge; it put to him
the two alternatives: should he just push it open or not? Oh to
have this consciousness was to THINK - and to think, Brydon knew,
as he stood there, was, with the lapsing moments, not to have
acted! Not to have acted - that was the misery and the pang - was
even still not to act; was in fact ALL to feel the thing in